Unleash Hell

Fact is that there’s enough dirt on Trump as we speak that he could be thrown out of office and convicted on a number of counts.  The only thing protecting him is an equally corrupt Congress.

Yes it’s fun to see the White House try to explain away Kushner’s requested back channel (several pundits call it outright espionage, since Kushner wanted not so much a back channel as a key to the front door of Russian facilities here in the States, so he could communicate with the Russians in Moscow privately).  It’s fun to see Trump’s supporters try to shrug at it all and divert attention to his “accomplishments.” (Yes?  Waiting…)

But the fact is that the rest of us already have Trump where we want him, and where he deserves to be — impotent (in a manner of speaking), and in deep, deep trouble.  It’s almost as if we need the Russia angle only for our amusement at this point.

Of course that’s not totally true.  We do need the Russia angle to get the most corrupt members of Congress out of the path first, clearing the way to Trump.  So I guess it is imperative to build a clear picture of who/what/where/when/why in terms of the undoubted Russian influence over much of Congress if you’re not willing to wait for the elections in November 2018 (and I honestly don’t think we can wait that long; international pressure is rising, as is frustration at home).

By the time we get to Trump himself, though…well, the deal is already done.  Even if no one proves to the Republicans’ satisfaction (and they won’t) that he ever laid his eyes on Kislyak, et. al., let alone became financially entangled with various highly-placed, phenomenally wealthy  Russians over a period of decades — apparently acting as their money-laundering machine, it now appears — we still have him.  He’s going down.

Rumor a month ago was that Trump would be gone by June 1, and I said that seemed overly optimistic.  Instead I’m judging by the twit Chaffetz’s impending departure from Congress, which is June 30.  I’m thinking real stuff, not just bombshell revelations, will start to happen after that.

(That said, it’s funny how these people seem to think they can avoid trouble by leaving town.  But I digress.)

Anyway, I’m thinking the real action will happen starting in July.  Maybe something’s already happening in the background, as Trump is appearing ever the more obese, unsteady, and senile.  We know he’s too weak a person to deliberately act ill in public (and he’s not that great of an actor, anyway), so maybe he’ll be forced out due to disability sometime over the summer.  Some pundits have predicted that he’d use this ruse to leave office with his head held high, but I think that for him, showing any sign of weakness would be such a massive blow to his ego that he just couldn’t do it.  I’m thinking he may have to be forced out by his own people — his behavior may finally get so weird that they will be compelled to do it.  We’re almost there now.

But there’s even more interesting stuff happening in that vein.  Over this past weekend one of the supposed White House leakers tweeted something to the effect that Trump and Bannon were going to spend Memorial Day promoting right-wing conspiracy theories about the tragic death of Seth Rich, but they were frightened into silence by the generals on the White House staff who threatened to “unleash hell” if they did so.  That’s fascinating on a number of levels, especially since both Mattis and McMaster have tarnished their badges by defending Trump in recent weeks.  It makes you wonder what’s going on in the background: Bannon and Trump were cowed by the generals?  Who really has the power in the White House now, and how would they actually “unleash hell” if crossed?  Did the generals threaten Trump with the 25th Amendment, knowing Pence (who already believes he is the next president) would go along with it?  Fascinating.

If this tweet was accurate, it makes it clear that the one with the power is not Trump.  So that much is already accomplished; the rest just needs to be solidified and executed.

Nothing will happen very soon, but you can leave this article with this thought: even if the threads of the Russia situation remain hopelessly frayed as far as the White House is concerned, every knot does not need to be tied.  The supposed powers that be there are already on the way out.  Take a big, deep breath.  Now it may get interesting.

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Okay, these are some large tidbits

Somehow the Washington Post got the information that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. had told the Kremlin that Jared Kushner wanted to establish a secret back channel between the Trump White House and the Kremlin (this was after the election, in December 2016).  Okay, that’s huge.  (Keith Olbermann seems to think so, too, but the New York Times is offering a tale that it was all quite innocent, which seems unlikely.)

Reuters is now piling on with the revelation that there are apparently recordings of Kusher talking with said ambassador before the election, dating all the way back to April, 2016 and that the December meeting involved an offer by Kushner to lift sanctions against Russia in exchange for private financing for those in Trump’s circle.  That’s gynormous, too.

Seth Abramson is now saying that Trump was in on the meeting with the ambassador in December, when the request for a back channel was made, and the meeting took place in Trump Tower in NYC, which Kislyak (the Russian ambassador) had entered through the back door — and this explains Trump’s obsession with Trump Tower being “wiretapped.”  This, folks, would be gigantic if proven true.

Trump is said to be setting up a “war room” and stocking it with bullies to fend off unfavorable Russiagate reports.  That would appear to be a tacit admission of guilt and therefore is bigly if true.

The Democrats in Congress are looking to strip Kushner of his security clearance, and apparently they can do this without obstruction from the Republicans.  That’s large as well.

Some RNC operative in Florida admits he sought and received hacked info on the Democrats from the Russian hackers, which he then shared with others, including Paul Ryan.  That could be sizeable (and it is apparently verified).

One Oleg Deripaska, who was once “tied to a Trump aide,” (Manafort) has sought immunity to testify before Congress and has been denied.  That’s somewhat notable too.

The Senate has asked the Trump campaign committee to produce all documents (including emails) going back to 2015.  That’s…interesting.

Put this together, and let’s see what it leads to.  I’m betting it will all end up in the towering landfill of discarded tidbits — some of them huge — we’re already faced with, but as I said, we’ll see.

P.S. some pundits are now claiming that the Kushner info is coming from pissed-off NATO allies, but I can’t verify that — especially since he was named a “person of interest” at least a week before Trump went and made an ass of himself before NATO.

P.P.S.  In the daily deluge of information, somewhere I read that the twit Chaffetz was rewarded with a $1,000,000 donation from Trump(?) after he leaked the supposedly-classified Hillary’s emails letter.  And now he’s confirmed that he’s leaving Congress by June 30 because after all, there’s only so much craziness you can put up with, right?

We should all have such luxury.

So far today…

These are all verified reports:

(1) Trump appears to have passed the contents of James Comey’s laptop to the Russians during that infamous Oval Office meeting.  This is in addition to sharing top-secret Israeli intelligence that really really REALLY shouldn’t have been shared.  Gee, we’re finding out more and more about why that meeting was supposed to be a secret, aren’t we?

(2) Well, I already told you about Paul Ryan a couple of times, but I do find it interesting that an actual audio recording of the conversation he tried to deny having surfaced yesterday, after having been rumored to exist for several months.

(3) It’s now absolutely clear that Pence could not have been ignorant of Flynn’s foreign entanglements — there’s just no way — yet he hired him anyway during the transition.  And then lied about it later.

(4) Flynn is now flirting with contempt of Congress charges by refusing to answer a subpoena to appear before…which committee was it?  I’m losing track.

(5) The twit (Chaffetz) will leave Congress and join Fox sometime around June 30.  That is, of course, unless he freaks out again and decides to do something else, like hang around and continue to give us all a goddamned headache.  Word has it that his departure is not unrelated to Russian kompromat.  Certainly he’s not going to try to tell us it’s because he has a sore tootsie or that the tumbling Fox gave him such a great deal that he couldn’t refuse.  Or will he?

It’s not noon yet as I write, so this may not be all for today.  Stay tuned.

P.S.  there’s one guy on Twitter who wrote an entire thread last night about some dark figure (not Putin?) who is supposedly blackmailing Trump.  Nothing in the thread made sense; it was all about this person forcing Trump to fire McMaster and keep Sean Spicer(?), and create a special counsel to investigate Russiagate (???!!??) and dark mutterings about snuff movies and slavery involving the entire GOP, and etc, etc.  Be aware that we’re going to be seeing more and more of this shit as things intensify in the coming days/weeks.  Don’t fall for it.  These people are wasting our time for the thrill of 5 minutes of fame.  If you doubt this, I have to add that this same guy wrote a thread last week about how “they” were shutting down his Twitter account.  Kind of ironic, since he was writing an entire thread by himself at the time with no interference.

Comey’s Island

(Article updated late in the afternoon; see last paragraph)

Today James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would be “mildly nauseous” if it turned out he actually helped Trump to win, or rather, caused Clinton to lose.  Of course there was instant outrage on the Internet at this comment, and the formidable Representative Schiff blasted him for holding a double standard — having no scruples about casting shade on Clinton, but withholding any mention of the by-then at least 3 month old investigation into Trump-Russia.

I have no idea why Comey did what he did, but I do have some names to add concerning who affected the outcome of the election — that is, if you’re accepting that this leak, such as it was, caused Clinton to lose.  I don’t; more on that in following paragraphs.

I was sitting in an automobile dealer’s service waiting room the day Comey announced that the emails presented no new evidence of wrongdoing.  They had CNN on both of the TV sets, and ALL THE ANNOUNCERS ON CNN COULD TALK ABOUT WAS HILLARY’S EMAILS, and this went on and on and on for hours, even though Comey had basically said there was nothing to the story in the letter that Chaffetz had leaked.  (There’s a deep backstory here, too — one about Trump suddenly donating $10,000,000 to his own campaign after the letter became public, and so forth.)

Comey’s denial of anything amiss with Clinton came about one day before the election, as I recall.  Nice timing, Sherlock.

So in my mind Chaffetz also has something to answer for here, as do CNN and other news outlets.  It would have been different if the televisions at the dealership had been tuned to the right-wing mouthpiece Fox News, but this was CNN.  Very odd behavior for an outfit Trump has since declared to be “fake news,” but CNN had been acting as a Trump loudspeaker for the entire campaign.

But still I have to say that I don’t think this really affected the election that much, as the entire mechanism to steal the election was in place before Comey wrote his letter and the twit Chaffetz leaked it.

After all, Clinton won.  She won in spite of the Russian interference.  She won in spite of Chaffetz and Comey and numerous others.   She won by an almost-unheard-of margin.  This is why Trump continues to yammer about how big his win was: it wasn’t.  He didn’t actually win at all.  And it bothers him enough that he has chosen to believe if he keeps repeating that he won, perhaps someone outside of his relatively small cult of worshipers will eventually believe him.

The Electoral College, which handed Trump the presidency, only came into play through an elaborate scheme of voting machine failures, voter intimidation (remember those right-wing mouth breathers showing up at polling places and attempting to “guard” them with firearms?  remember the incredibly long lines?  remember people being told in droves that the polling place they were at was the wrong one? remember the voter-suppression schemes that involved people practically having to have their DNA traced in order to vote? remember…oh so many things).  And there were the uncounted ballots in several states, and the over-counted votes: at least a few counties in Wisconsin apparently counted more votes — for Trump — than they had voters.

And so we were stuck with the Electoral College once again, and of course the Electoral College is hopelessly corrupt and has been for a long time.  At least 50 of the electors were there illegally in 2016, possibly including our present U.N. Ambassador, and they were all Republicans.  Why this is not being investigated is something we do not know.  Or maybe we do, but no one wants to talk about it.  It definitely all goes back to one thing: longstanding Republican corruption, so ingrained that the Russians saw an opportunity and seized it.  No, the Russians did not build that elaborate system of election fraud.  It had already been in place for almost 20 years, and the Republicans built it, and the Russians greased the wheels with fake news, pilfered personal info, and probably voting-machine hacking as well.

So how does Comey’s tale of reluctance fit into all of this?  He didn’t lose Clinton the election, but he may have helped cost her an even bigger win, and in so doing he may have helped cause the election to be thrown to the corrupt Electoral College, thereby guaranteeing Trump the White House.  And he still hasn’t really given a solid explanation as to his motive.

Obama could have given Comey hell, and he did call him on the carpet.  But after that he stood by Comey.  Not happily, but he did it.  Trump, on the other hand, is now threatening to fire Comey, which tells me a lot.

There is, of course, the story that Comey could not say anything about the Trump-Russia investigation because it would have spooked too many people and hindered the investigation’s progress.  Again I do not know, and it still begs the question about why the twit Chaffetz blabbed the non-news about Clinton when they could have kept quiet about that too.  Should have, in fact.  See update below; it’s now all been laid on the twit Chaffetz’s wonky little tootsies.

Maybe Comey was trying to lure Trump into a false sense of security, who knows.  But if that was the case, it’s lost now.  So much is lost now.  And it’s partially down to Comey and that twit Chaffetz.  Both of them have got a lot explaining to do.  And no, claiming sick tummies and sore tootsies isn’t going to save them.

3:00 p.m. update: we now know why Chaffetz limped back to Congress on his sore tootsie, weeks before he was due to come back: Comey threw Chaffetz under the bus, claiming that his letter to the committee chairmen was never meant to be made public.  Ever the crafty little weasel, Chaffetz probably guessed that would happen.  Of course Chaffetz will not get in trouble for this (Republicans almost never do), but it’s apparent he’s afraid he will — so much so that he’s now talking starting an investigation into about taking away Obama’s pension because Obama accepted payment for a speech (which is absurd, but that never stopped Chaffetz before; he’s made a career of the absurd).  And here we were looking forward to seeing him retire soon.  Stay tuned.

Page the Flynn-flam man

In the past week focus in Russiagate has swung wildly from zeroing in on Carter Page, who not only keeps incriminating himself during interviews, but apparently also transmitted to the Russians some recording of Trump asking the Russians to help with his campaign, (and this coincided with Trump publicly asking the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails during a Presidential debate*), back to Michael Flynn, who accepted money from foreign governments even after being told not to.  Apparently in addition to other investigations of Flynn (one of which the White House is obstructing by refusing to release certain documents), the Pentagon is also now investigating him.  All of which means that it sucks to be Michael Flynn right now.

One wonders when the focus will shift back to Manafort, who we have not heard a whole lot about in a while.  And how about Giuliani?  He was supposed to be in handcuffs at least 2 weeks ago.  Haven’t heard a word lately.

As for Nunes, he’s disappeared for the time being.  Chaffetz keeps speaking in mazes and hasn’t taken leave yet, it seems (guess that tootsie wasn’t so sore after all).  McCain and Graham were full of shit to begin with.  Burr has had an ethics complaint brought against him.  And it goes on and on and on, and almost everyone in Congress whose behavior has been weird has R-(state) after their name.  A few, like Nunes and Chaffetz, have gone downright squirrelly, but according to them we’re supposed to believe that nothing is wrong.  Sing along with them: “It’s just another day in paradise,” and go happily about your business.  At least, that’s what they’d like you to do.

Put all this together and I have just one piece of advice to help sort it out: it’s not just one person who is the key to this.  It’s ALL of them.  (Otherwise how did they all end up in one administration, and one Republican Congress, together at the same time?Add to that at least 4 decades of Republican-party corruption and you have your answer.

And then there’s Comey.  The only thing I can say for him is that Obama stuck by him, and I trusted Obama.  But I can also say that Comey’s dragging his feet…or is he?  Word has it that there are two Russiagate grand juries in progress, and one is nearly done with its work (since all the news last week was about Flynn, I’m guessing this grand jury was focusing on something related to him).  Stay tuned.  In the end it may turn out that Comey sacrificed his reputation for the sake of the Republic, but that sounds a bit too melodramatic to believe.  Still, Obama stuck by him — and Trump has made at least one threat to fire him.  To me, that says a lot.

Once again, to anyone feeling lost and confused, all I can advise is never lose sight of the fact that just about everyone on the Trump administration has Russian connections, and so do an awful lot of other people in the Republican party.  This will get you through all these wild changes of focus on the part of the investigations and in the media.

It will also help you deal with any attempted distractions thrown out by Trump or others in his circle, and those are pitched out almost daily.  Never expect to read about any of that here because I can pride myself on being almost immune.  Not that I won’t slip up now and then; I will (and I already have).  But keep this in mind: if you don’t read about it here eventually, it’s a distraction.  Don’t bother with it.

*I’d like to point out once again that not only did Trump publicly ask the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails, but at the last debate, when his poll numbers were in the toilet and we were all looking forward to Madame President, Trump stated that we should just hand him the election now.  Somehow no one seems to remember this anymore, but I do, and I believe he said it because he knew the election was fixed.  Also remember how from October on he kept crying about the election being fixed in Clinton’s favor.  Just always keep in mind that Trump is nearly transparent.  Whatever he whines that someone else is doing (and they’re usually not), you can bet he’s doing himself.  As in, he knew what the Russians were up to, AND he asked them to do it.

P.S. It’s now Sunday, the beginning of week 3, and no one has been arrested.

Chaffetz goes bonkers

In the past two weeks, Jason Chaffetz has
(1) Said he would not be running for re-election.  Some major news outlets are stopping here and writing exhaustive articles about how brilliant this may turn out to be, as he’s planning to run for president in 12 years.  (Note: observe the career of Sarah Palin to see how much quitting boosts one’s political aspirations; also observe the career of Dan Quayle to see how long major missteps and stupidity can live on in the public consciousness.)

(2) Said he might resign before his term was up.

(3) Said he might resign very soon.

(4) Spent Monday or Tuesday of this week making the astounding claim that Obama was responsible for Trump hiring Flynn as National Security Advisor.  This was in the same time period that the Trump administration fell into a P.R. trap set by the House Oversight Committee (Chaffetz’s committee!).  You see, the Committee ordered some documents pertaining to Flynn that they knew the White House would not release, thereby making the White House look like it was covering something up.  And the White House just tiptoed through the tulips right into the big ouchie trap, which then slammed shut and injured not only the administration but apparently some part of Chaffetz’s foot as well.

This illustrates that in Chaffetz’s absence (or even just projected absence) Flynn is no longer safe from the attentions of the Oversight Committee, which formerly was refusing to look at the Trump-Russia situation at all and was, in fact, intending to keep investigating Hillary Clinton until they found…something, anything, even if it took centuries.  But suddenly Chaffetz announced he was out of there someday, perhaps soon, so immediately the microscope was moved to Flynn.

Quick Chaffetz, deflect!  (Well, he tried…)

(5) On Wednesday, announced that he was taking leave from the House to have elective surgery on his foot which appears to be shoved deeply into his mouth, or in the same trap the Committee set for Trump, or both.

It’s speculated that Chaffetz is caught between the FBI and Russian blackmail.  I’d say it’s almost definite that he is running from something that he does not want to deal with, and not toward the presidential race in 12 years.

Anyway, we won’t have to deal with the little twit for at least the next month; meantime, maybe someone in Washington can get some actual work done.

P.S. This should lead to a discussion of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one Senator Burr, who is co-chairman, but I didn’t fall for the line that the Committee was paralyzed because Burr is also compromised by Russia, so we won’t go there.  I mean, Burr is definitely compromised by Russia — I think almost the entire Republican Party is — but the Democrats have apparently had a working majority in this Committee anyway because of another Republican in the group who is not cooperating with her party.

P.P.S. It’s now Thursday of Week 2 and nobody in D.C. has been arrested yet.  And also, as to why I didn’t mention anything the president’s “briefing” of the Senate on North Korea: I knew it was going to be bullshit.  And it was.

Mr. Benghazi Bails

It’s not confirmed yet, but several sources (including at least one radio station in Utah) are reporting that not only will Jason Chaffetz not run for re-election, but he also may leave office prior to the end of his term.  (3:00 p.m. update: now the rumors seems to indicate that Chaffetz will resign by tomorrow; reasons range from a lucrative job offer to him running for governor of Utah to him having an affair to him accepting “dark money” for his campaign…and of course there’s the Russia thing.)  So I guess at this point we can rule out mere homesickness.

Just a few months ago this same guy was totally arrogant and self-assured, completely determined to ignore the Trump-Russia scandal (“I don’t see anything to investigate,” he shrugged) and instead re-investigate Hillary Clinton over and over and over again until he found something she did wrong regarding Benghazi.  He promised years of investigations, and as the link shows, he said so out loud and in public.  And now he’s turning tail and running.  Interesting.

While I’m delighted at this turn of events, I’d almost rather see shoes drop on Mr. Logan Act (Tom Cotton), or Trey Gowdy, Devin Nunes, or any of a half dozen or more in Congress just like Gowdy, Cotton and Nunes.  Even better than any of them would be the tag team of Ryan and McConnell.   There have been serious mutterings about those two, but I’ll be honest: I want more than that.  Handcuffs on both of them would be nice.  And soon.

One can dream, and so far it all seems to be just a faraway dream.  After all, it’s now Thursday and no one in Washington D.C. has been arrested.